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Bitcoin Fungibility, Mixing and the Legal Limits on Maintaining Privacy

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On February 13, 2020, Larry Harmon, of Akron, Ohio, was charged with three counts: (1) conspiracy to commit money laundering, (2) operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and (3) conducting money transmission without a DC license. 

According to the DOJ, Harmon operated “Helix,” which was also known as a “tumbler” or “mixer,” without registering as a money services business or money transmitter. These technologies allow a user to obfuscate the origin of their bitcoin.

Regulations on Bitcoin Privacy

According to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), exchanging virtual currency (among other things) is a FinCEN-regulated activity. According to FinCEN, “[a]n exchanger is a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency.” An exchanger must register with FinCEN as a money services business (MSB). Once registered, the exchanger must implement procedures reasonably designed to prevent money laundering. 

Blockchain Analysis and Financial Privacy 

While the standard of reasonableness is evolving, one possible way to prevent money laundering is blockchain analysis. Blockchain analysis companies have large marketing budgets and are persuading crypto exchanges to use their services in order to “de-risk” the exchange’s own compliance reporting duties. 

Similarly, though not required by law, some larger banks have made the use of blockchain forensic analysis services a condition of getting a bank account. Akin to the dragnet surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013, these services attempt (with debatable accuracy) to identify the history of a bitcoin, which (absent other intervening actions) potentially exposes all past and future transactions made by the user who broadcasted the transaction. 

Blockchain forensic analysis can include the collection of large amounts of personal information about a user’s spending habits, total holdings, and whether or not the bitcoin has traveled to the dark web or been used for something illegal. Aside from privacy considerations related to the over-collection of data, the requirement that companies purchase these services can significantly raise the costs of entry into the industry, reducing competition and depriving consumers of the choices they might otherwise have when obtaining financial services. 

If a blockchain analysis service determines that particular bitcoin have been involved in criminal activity, these bitcoin are referred to as “tainted.” The concept of tainted bitcoin is controversial. The ultimate objective for a blockchain analysis company, and thus the government to which they offer their services, is to know who owns the bitcoin. It’s a tall order, but if they can accomplish this, financial privacy on layer-one Bitcoin will be nonexistent. 

“Cleaning” Bitcoin

One failsafe way to remove a bitcoin’s alleged taint is to have it seized by the government and resold at an auction. Once it’s passed through the government, regulated cryptocurrency exchanges can begin accepting it again; it is “clean.” 

The other way to “clean” a bitcoin is to break the link between the bitcoin’s past and current transactions by running it through a tumbler/mixer, or CoinJoin. Tumblers and mixers are custodial: This means that when one uses a tumbler or mixer, they must give control of their coins to another party, and trust that this party will return the bitcoin to them. By contrast, there are various implementations of CoinJoin that can be conducted without sacrificing control of your coins. Not your keys, not your bitcoin.

While most agree that the government has a legitimate interest in fighting crime, some privacy advocates are concerned that industry standards are being heavily influenced by two powerful forces that may not properly weigh financial privacy concerns: (1) the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental agency that seeks to assist global governments in surveillance and tax collections; and (2) compliance companies that stand to gain immensely from lucrative government contracts. 

From the privacy advocates’ perspective, the more draconian measures that interested groups (whether public or private sector) can push for, the more money the compliance companies will make. In an ideal world for a forensic blockchain analysis company, a user’s personal privacy may be considered evidence of criminal activity.

Privacy and Fungibility Go Hand in Hand

Fungibility is defined as “capable of being substituted in place of one another.” Fungibility is a critical quality of money. Consider the following example:

If Alice lends Bob a $10 bill, Alice does not need to be repaid with the very same $10 bill; any $10 bill will do. In the same sense, Alice could accept one $5 bill and five $1 bills and still be satisfied, since the total equals $10.

Conversely, as an example of non-fungibility, if Alice lends Bob her car, it is not acceptable for Bob to return a different car, even if it is the same make and model as Alice’s original car. Cars are not fungible with respect to ownership. (The gas that Bob buys to fill up the car upon its return, however, is fungible.)

As applied to Bitcoin, a looming concern is that if some bitcoin are treated differently than others, then one of bitcoin’s inherent characteristics as money will be reduced, potentially hampering bitcoin’s future as a global reserve currency. 

Coin Mixing / Tumbling

Since the Bitcoin blockchain is publicly verifiable through the use of a block explorer, some users have taken to coin mixing or tumbling, where a user sends their bitcoin to a service that accepts them and then sends the designated amount, minus fees, to the destination requested by the sender. This makes the origin nearly impossible for the recipient to decipher. There could well be nefarious reasons for individuals to want privacy in their transactions, but there are also legitimate reasons for using Bitcoin privately; for example, you might not want the people you transact with to be able to see how much money you have, or to be able to view all of your transactions and associations, past and future. 

CoinJoin

CoinJoin, first introduced by Greg Maxwell in 2013, is a privacy-protection technique that does not require surrender of custody to another party. CoinJoin is a process of combining multiple Bitcoin payments from multiple spenders into a single transaction to make it more difficult for outside parties to determine which spender paid who. The distinction for CoinJoin is that CoinJoin is software, and FinCEN regulations exempt “the delivery, communication, or network access services used by a money transmitter to support money transmission services.” See  31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(ii).

Custodial Mixers

Section 4.5.1 of the May 2019 FinCEN guidance states that “providers of anonymizing services” — such as custodial mixers — are money transmitters under FinCEN regulations. Anyone who provides anonymizing services by “accepting value from a customer and transmitting the same or another type of value to the recipient, in a way designed to mask the identity of the transmittor, is a money transmitter under FinCEN regulations.” 

Helix operated as a custodial mixer, where users’ coins were allegedly sent to Harmon’s control and swapped, then different coins were sent back to the user or to a predetermined destination. This falls within the definition of money transmission.

SDNY

We have seen money laundering and money transmission charges go hand in hand in several other cases over the past few years. Not surprisingly, Harmon, despite living in Ohio and engaging in a transaction with an undercover officer who was in DC, is being tried in the mother of all courts, the Southern District of New York (SDNY). This is the same court that sentenced Ross Ulbricht to double life plus 40 years. The SDNY also heard the Ripple case, the Tether/Bitfinex/Noble Bank case, the Shrem case, the Haney case, the MLARS case and the Vinnik case, to name a few. This is because the SDNY gets jurisdiction over cases involving terrorism, money laundering, international narcotics and any other crime that the FBI, DEA or ICE believe could threaten U.S. national security. 

FinCEN Guidance vs. the Law

We’ve likely all seen the 2019 FinCEN guidance, with its two-page disclaimer that it’s just guidance. Well, the actual laws that Harmon was charged with are as follows: (1) federal money laundering, (2) federal money transmission and (3) District of Columbia money transmission. He was not charged with anything to do with AMLD5 (inspired by FATF), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or international money laundering, but we will touch on those briefly as well, because he could have also been charged with any of them too.  

Federal Money Laundering Law

Federal money laundering is sending and receiving financial transactions “involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity … with the intent to promote” the unlawful activity. See Title 18 USC § 1956(a). The allegations say the bitcoin went through AlphaBay and was used to buy illegal drugs. The bitcoin-to-drug purchase happened on AlphaBay, then the drug dealer sent those bitcoin to Helix. Harmon knew these bitcoin were the proceeds of illegal activity because he himself wrote about AlphaBay being used for drugs. Then he mixed the bitcoin and sent it to himself again, at DropBit (another layering transaction), and from there, a regular user could unknowingly get the tainted bitcoin, and risk future issues with traditional on- and off-ramps for the reasons outlined above. 

Money Transmission (Federal) 

The other federal charge complication is that most money laundering cases also involve unregistered money services business activity, meaning, the company didn’t register with FinCEN before setting up their dark web drug website. Consequently, this means they did not collect user data, report suspicious activity or pay taxes. It seems plausible that this charge could stick. However, at first, this case looked interesting because it would be a case of first impression involving mixers. The mixer didn’t actually play a part, though, because the transfers of bitcoin from AlphaBay to Helix, and then from Helix to the DropBit wallet, are both “transmissions” whether or not the coins were mixed on Helix at all.

Money Transmission (DC)

The DC charge against Harmon was unexpected. The DC money transmitter law has never been modified to include bitcoin and never been tested against bitcoin. The jurisdiction here comes because the undercover agent performed the transaction on trial from DC. As a result of this case, DC may have to refine their money transmission law. It would be nice if they would look to Montana, a state with no money transmission regulation, or Wyoming, which has adopted crypto-friendly money transmission rules. 

FATF & AMLD5

While Harmon was not charged with anything related to the FATF guidance, nor could he be, since it is strictly guidance, the AMLD5 has adopted much of this guidance into practice. The AML/CTF EU Directive 2018/843 (AMLD5) was published in the “Official Journal of the European Union” and took effect on January 10, 2020. It covers providers that exchange services between fiat and cryptocurrencies, as well as custodial wallets. 

The FATF’s 59-page guidance, which is featured prominently on Google with a CipherTrace sponsored advertisement, encourages all member countries to adopt the American rules. However, as a point of concern among privacy advocates, this guidance also introduces concepts of “enhanced due diligence” in reference to privacy-centric cryptocurrencies or software. Notably absent from the guidance are explicit privacy considerations for how to balance privacy with legitimate law enforcement objectives. 

The AMLD5 directive suggests that it is essential to extend its scope “so as to include providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies as well as custodian wallet providers.” It also suggests that the EU monitor for “suspicious activity” by hiring “entities” to monitor the use of virtual currencies. “Such monitoring,” the directive states, “would provide a balanced and proportional approach, safeguarding technical advances and the high degree of transparency attained in the field of alternative finance and social entrepreneurship.”

Money Transmission Catchall (OFAC)

Harmon was not charged with any OFAC violations, but he could have been. Had he processed a transaction for an individual, country or bitcoin wallet address that is on the sanctions list, he would’ve been in violation. But by not collecting the KYC data on his customers at Helix, Harmon likely has no idea whether or not he serviced any sanctions list member. The OFAC, like FinCEN, is a component of the Department of the Treasury. It administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions. 

Are Individual Bitcoiners Responsible for Knowing Where Our Bitcoin Has Been? 

No, individuals are “users” according to the 2013 FinCEN guidance. A user is a person that “obtains virtual currency to purchase goods or services” (or in Bitcoin’s case, for speculation, as a savings vehicle, hedge or store of value). Users are regulated by FinCEN. However, individuals are required to pay taxes on capital gains, and the information collected by FinCEN, and most government agencies, is under a memorandum of understanding that it can be shared with the IRS. 

The exception to this, which to our knowledge has not yet been tested in court, could be the laws regarding receiving stolen property. Generally, for someone to be guilty of receiving stolen property, they must know, or should have known, that the property they receive is stolen. For the overwhelming majority of users, this kind of knowledge is, for practical purposes, impossible. 

The exchanges, however, have all of the responsibility and liability to use reasonable steps to comply with their FinCEN obligations. Their banking partners are also likely to have higher compliance requirements of the exchange than are required by FinCEN, which can include using  blockchain analysis tools. It’s also possible that, at the bank’s or compliance officer’s discretion, the exchange may be advised not to accept coins that have come from a mixer or tumbler. 

Conclusion

The balance between law enforcement efforts and privacy is challenging. Nobody wants to see terrorism or violent crime, but individual rights are jeopardized when we continue, as a society, to freely and willingly give up a lot of our financial privacy.  

Maintaining bitcoin’s fungibility is arguably a necessity for bitcoin to achieve one of its core value propositions: freedom. Bitcoin is the currency of the internet, and the internet is, or should be, free and global. Not all countries have the benefit of a strong and stable financial system or a trustworthy government. When privacy is eroded, so is freedom of speech and association. We lose our privacy every day as we agree to use custodial Bitcoin solutions. Privacy and data security are not suspicious; they are responsible actions that individuals should be encouraged to take to help protect our identities against hackers from America and abroad. 

As described above, exchanges must take “reasonable” steps to prevent money laundering. Whether that means accepting or blocking mixed coins is a decision that each exchange will make on their own. There is no codified standard. There is no “law” against CoinJoin. There is no definitive answer as to how far back they should check — or whether they should check at all. 

Given the legitimate privacy concerns illustrated above, we encourage exchanges not to treat the use of CoinJoin in a bitcoin’s transaction history, without any external evidence of wrongdoing, as evidence of suspicious or criminal activity. We view CoinJoin as being no different than other standard privacy practices in Bitcoin, such as not reusing bitcoin addresses. (“For greater privacy, it’s best to use bitcoin addresses only once.” Satoshi Nakomoto, November 25, 2009.) Bitcoin users should not be required to leak personal information in the same way they are encouraged not to accidentally disclose their social security number. Maintaining Bitcoin privacy helps prevent individuals from being victimized by hackers, terrorists, scammers and system hijackers, and authoritarian governments. 

It’s hard to price when achieving Bitcoin privacy moves from an inconvenience to a legal, financial or even safety-related necessity. Keeping the Bitcoin network private can be thought of as an act of unity by Bitcoiners in America to help keep the network useful for Bitcoiners in Venezuela and Hong Kong — indeed, around the world. United we stand, divided we fall. 

Thank you to the many sources who helped pull this knowledge together. Rafael and I have spent years learning the intricacies of money transmission and money laundering laws, and we have each helped many Bitcoin companies navigate these regulations. While everything written in this article reflects our own opinions unless quoted directly, we appreciate the contributions to this topic provided by the following groups/individuals: the Samourai Wallet and Wasabi Wallet communities, Stephan Livera, 6102bitcoin, ErgoBTC, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Matt Odell and numerous other community contributors.

This is an op ed by Sasha Hodder and Rafael Yakobi. Views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

The post Bitcoin Fungibility, Mixing and the Legal Limits on Maintaining Privacy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Crypto Exchange KuCoin Gets Hacked

On Saturday (September 26), Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin suffered a security breach, as the result of which a part of the cryptoassets in the exchange’s hot wallets were stolen. According to KuCoin Global CEO Johnny Lyu, who hosted a live stream that started at 04:30 UTC on September 26, here are some important details about […]

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On Saturday (September 26), Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin suffered a security breach, as the result of which a part of the cryptoassets in the exchange’s hot wallets were stolen.

According to KuCoin Global CEO Johnny Lyu, who hosted a live stream that started at 04:30 UTC on September 26, here are some important details about this security incident:

  • Bitcoin, ERC-20 and some other cryptoassets in KuCoin’s hot wallets were “transferred out of the exchange”; these represented a small portion of the exchange’s total cryptoasset holdings (since the vast majority reside in cold wallets, which have not been harmed in any way).
  • KuCoin’s hot wallets have been “re-deployed”.
  • The exchange’s security team first finds out about the attack at 02:51 AM (UTC+8) on September 26 when they get alerted by the risk management system for the first time that an “abnormal” ETH transaction (with TXID 0x4b738df5d7f12e3fa1cbe83b8165c542da461ef0c9255fc1a3f275259a92623b) has occurred.
  • They then find out about a few more abnormal transactions from an ETH hot wallet with the address 0xeb31973e0febf3e3d7058234a5ebbae1ab4b8c23.
  • At 03:20 AM (UTC+8) on September 26, the KuCoin operations team “urgently closed the server of the wallet and found that after the shutdown, there were still cases of abnormal transactions.”
  • At 04:20 AM (UTC+8) on September 26, the KuCoin wallet team “started to transfer the remaining assets from the hot wallet to cold storage.”
  • At 04:50 AM (UTC+8) on September 26, the KuCoin wallet team “transferred most of the remaining assets from the hot wallet to cold storage.”
  • KuCoin has reached to various other exchanges (including Binance, Huobi, OKEx, Bybit, and Upbit) to “blocklist suspicious addresses and trace the funds affected.”
  • KuCoin has also been in contact with “international law enforcement,” and is offering “rewards of up to $100,000 to those who can provide valid information to us regarding this incident.”
  • This loss occurred due to “the leakage of the private key of KuCoin hot wallets.”
  • The deposit and withdrawal functionality is expected to be restored within one week.
  • KuCoin’s insurance fund is large enough to cover the losses.

Featured Image by “geralt” via Pixabay.com

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Crypto Price Analysis & Overview September 25th: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Chainlink, and Tezos

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin dropped by a total of 3% over the past seven days of trading as it reached the $10,600 level today. The cryptocurrency briefly pushed above the $11,000 mark last Friday but could not sustain this level as it broke beneath it during the weekend. On Monday, BTC saw a precipitous 7.5% fall as it dropped from $10,910 to reach as low as $10,200.

Bitcoin continued to head lower on Wednesday as it reached $10,140 before the buyers regrouped to initiate a rebound, which happened yesterday. During the rebound, BTC managed to break back above the 100-days EMA and reach as high as $10,760 – where it ran into resistance at the bearish .382 Fib Retracement.

The coin has dropped slightly from there to trade at $10,600 today.

Looking ahead, if the bulls can continue above the $10,760 level, higher resistance lies at $10,900 $11,000, and $11,200. Added resistance is expected at $11,340 (bearish .618 Fib Retracement), $11,500, and $11,600.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $10,430 (100-days EMA0. This is followed by support at $10,330, $10,140, and $10,000.

btcusd-sep25
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Ethereum

Ethereum suffered a steeper 11.3% price decline over the past week as it reached the $346 level today. The coin was trading above $380 last Friday but started to drop lower during the weekend. On Monday, Ethereum fell from $365 to reach as low as $335 (100-days EMA).

The price decline continued on Wednesday, which saw ETH drop as low as $320. Luckily, the bulls regrouped for a rebound on Thursday in which ETH managed to reach the $252 resistance (bearish .236 Fib Retracement). It also produced a bullish engulfing candle, which is a strong bullish signal.

Moving forward, if the buyers can break the $352 level, resistance lies at $364 (2019 high), $382, $390, and $400.

On the other side, support is first expected at $336 (100-days EMA). Beneath this, support lies at $320, $306, and $300.

ethusd-sep25
ETH/USD. Source: TradingView

Ethereum also struggled against Bitcoin this week as it fell from 0.035 BTC to reach as low as 0.0311 BTC yesterday. The coin had found support yesterday at the .618 Fib Retracement, which allowed it to bounce higher to the current 0.0326 BTC level.

Looking ahead, if the bulls push higher, the first level of resistance lies at 0.033 BTC. Above this, resistance is located at 0.0337 BTC (March 2019 Support), 0.0347 BTC, and 0.0352 BTC.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at 0.032 BTC. This is followed by support at 0.0315 BTC (100-days EMA), 0.0311 BTC (.618 Fib Retracement), and 0.030 BTC.

ethbtc-sep25
ETH/BTC. Source: TradingView

Ripple

XRP witnessed a 5.5% price fall this week as the coin dropped from $0.25 to reach as low as $0.22 yesterday. The cryptocurrency managed to rebound from there to get as high as $0.24 today. However, the market is facing resistance at the 100-days EMA and must pass this to continue higher.

If the bulls break $0.24, the first level of resistance lies at $0.251 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement). Following this, resistance lies at $0.261 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement), and $0.271 (bearish .618 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $0.235 (200-days EMA). This is followed by support at $0.23, $0.22, and $0.217.

xrpusd-sep25
XRP/USD. Source: TradingView

XRP is also struggling against BTC as it posted a fresh 2-month low at 2165 SAT (downside 1.414 Fib Extension) yesterday. The coin had slipped from 2300 SAT last Friday and continued lower until it hit the 2165 SAT support.

XRP has since bounced higher to reach the 2250 SAT level today.

If the bulls can break 2250 SAT, resistance is first located at 2300 SAT (bearish .382 Fib Retracement). Above this, resistance lies at 2350 SAT (bearish .5 Fib Retracement), 2400 SAT, and 2460 SAT.

Alternatively, support lies at 2200 SAT, 2165 SAT, and 2111 SAT.

xrpbtc-sep25
XRP/BTC. Source: TradingView

Chainlink

LINK saw a substantial 10% price fall over the past seven days, which saw the coin breaking beneath the $10 level and hitting as low as $7.31. There, it found support at a downside 1.272 Fib Extension level, which allowed it to rebound yesterday to reach the $9.90 resistance level today.

If the bulls can break $10, the first level of resistance lies at $10.40. Above this, resistance is found at $11.37 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), $12, and $12.63 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, support first lies at $9.00. Beneath this, support is found at $8.67, $8.00, and $7.31.

linkusd-sep25
LINK/USD. Source: TradingView

Against BTC, LINK dropped as low as 0.00072 BTC during the week. It was trading above a 3-month-old rising trend last Friday, but it went on to collapse beneath this support over the weekend. After reaching 0.00072 BTC, LINK bounced higher to get to the current 0.000935 BTC level today. Notice that it has returned to the previous rising trend line, which is now acting as resistance.

Looking ahead, the first level of resistance lies at 0.00095 BTC. This is followed by resistance at 0.001 BTC, 0.00103 BTC (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), and 0.00112 BTC (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, support is first found at 0.00091 BTC. This is followed by support at 0.0082 BTC, 0.00072 BTC, and 0.0007 BTC.

linkbtc-sep25
LINK/BTC. Source: TradingView

Tezos

XTZ saw the steepest price fall on this list as it dropped by 13% over the past 7 days. The coin fell beneath the $2.32 (.618 Fib Retracement) support on Friday and continued lower to crate a new 5-month price low as it reached $1.91. This support held over the past few days, and Tezos rebounded from here yesterday to reach $2.15 today.

Looking ahead, if the bulls break $2.20, resistance is found at $2.32, $2.53 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), and $2.72 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, the first two levels of support lie at $2.00 and $1.91. Beneath this, support is expected at $1.74 (.786 Fib Retracement), $1.68, and $1.56.

xtzusd-sep25
XTZ/USD. Source: TradingView

Tezos is suffering further against BTC as it produced a 7-month price low this week after reaching 18,600 SAT. The coin has since bounced from here to break back above 20,000 SAT today.

Looking ahead, the first level of resistance lies at 21,000 SAT. This is followed by resistance at 22,000 SAT, 21,750 SAT, and 24,300 SAT.

On the other side, beneath 20,000 SAT, support lies at 19,380 SAT, 18,600 SATm ad 17,600 SAT (.886 Fib Retracement). Added support lies at 16,600 SAT and 15,600 SAT.

xtzbtc-sep25
XTZ/BTC. Source: TradingView
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/crypto-price-analysis-overview-september-25th-bitcoin-ethereum-ripple-chainlink-and-tezos/

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Bitcoin Maintains $10K As Crypto Market Lost $16 Billion in 7 Days: The Weekly Crypto Market Update

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Another action-packed week took place in the crypto field. Unfortunately, the market is currently in decline as the entire capitalization lost around $16 billion over the past seven days.

The good news for Bitcoin bulls is that BTC managed to maintain itself above the critical psychological and technical support of $10,000. Things were looking rather promising until Monday when the price shot up to about $11,000.

Unfortunately, it was then when Bitcoin’s price took a sharp turn in the wrong direction and tanked to about $10,400. From there, it was a couple of days of sideways action until Wednesday when it dipped even further, calling questions whether or not $10,000 will hold. In the late hours of Thursday, however, Bitcoin bulls woke up and pushed its price to where it currently rests around $10,650.

Elsewhere, on Sunday, Buzz Feed reported that major banking giants such as JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Standard Chartered, HSBC, and more, were knowingly facilitating the transfer of up to $2 trillion related to suspicious and even criminal activity. This further supports the narrative that cash is used for illicit activities way more than Bitcoin. After all, $2 trillion is roughly 10x Bitcoin’s total market capitalization.

In another interesting development, the world will finally have its first official Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, though it may not be quite where people expected. It’s a collaboration between Nasdaq and a regulated Brazilian fund manager and will be launched on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX).

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DeFi markets continue to boom as the total value locked in lending protocols surpassed $10 billion this week.

In any case, it’s interesting to see whether or not the hype will continue or if we will soon witness the burst of what many consider to be a DeFi-fueled bubble.

Market Data

Market Cap: $337B | 24H Vol: 105B | BTC Dominance: 58.3%

BTC: $10,613 (+2.46%) | ETH: $344.46 (+2.61%) | XRP: $0.237(+5.3%)

cryptopost_friday_1

World’s First Bitcoin ETF Approved with Expected Launch in Bermuda by End of Year. Nasdaq has collaborated with a regulated Brazilian fund manager to launch the world’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). It should go live by the end of the year on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX).

CoinGecko: 23% Participate In Yield Farming, But 40% Can’t Read Smart Contracts. According to a recent report by CoinGecko, 23% of people involved in the cryptocurrency field invest in yield farming. However, 40% of them can’t read smart contracts, leaving them seriously exposed to inherent risks associated with failures in the code.

FEW Brings Out DeFi Risks: Ethereum Proponents Caught Planning to Dump on Investors. Leaked screenshots of a Telegram group chat that includes some of the most popular Ethereum proponents have sparked a tweetstorm in Crypto Twitter. It appeared as if the participants were planning to create a token, airdrop it to themselves, hype it up, and dump it on the community.

Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya: Bitcoin Is My Best Investment Bet. The popular venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya has said that his best investment bet so far has been on Bitcoin. This is despite him having invested in countless successful companies and startups.

Gemini Has Now Opened Doors to Crypto Investors in the UK. The popular US-based Bitcoin trading platform Gemini has officially launched operations for its entire range of services in the United Kingdom. This comes weeks after it received a license from the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Document Leak Suggests Major Banks Facilitated Transfer of $2 Trillion in Dirty Money – 10x Current Bitcoin’s Market Cap. Buzz Feed reported on a major document leak that suggests that major banks have been facilitating the transfer of up to $2 trillion associated with illicit and criminal activities. To put things in perspective, this is roughly 10x Bitcoin’s total market cap.

Charts

This week we have a chart analysis of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Chainlink, and Tezos – click here for the full price analysis.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-maintains-10k-as-crypto-market-lost-16-billion-in-7-days-the-weekly-crypto-market-update/

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